Home Secretary Theresa May has said “sorry” to victims following the delays that have hit the inquiry into historic child sex abuse.
May issued the apology in parliament after the second resignation by a chairman to hit the inquiry before it has even begun.
Fiona Woolf followed Lady Butler-Sloss by stepping down from the role over concerns about her establishment connections, which victim groups claim were a potential conflict of interest.
May said: “Almost four months after I announced my intention to establish a panel inquiry, it is obviously very disappointing that that we do not yet have a panel chairman and for that I want to tell survivors that I am sorry.”
But there was a warning for victims from May, who, in her full statement, said picking a suitable candidate could be difficult.
“To put it bluntly, Mr Speaker, it will not be straightforward to find a chairman who has both the expertise to do this hugely important work and has had no contact at all with an institution or an individual about whom people have concerns.”
All members of the panel investigating claims of historical sex abuse have submitted details about their backgrounds in order to avoid further potential conflicts of interest, she said.
Admitting confidence had been rocked by the resignation, May appealed to victims to support the inquiry in its work.
She said: “I know some of you have questioned the legitimacy of this process. I know you are disappointed that the panel has no chairman. I understand that. I am listening… Let us come together to make this process work and finally deliver justice for what you – and too many others – have suffered.”
Article By IBTimes
Victims’ groups welcomed moves to make giving evidence to the panel as easy as possible for those who have suffered, via a liason group.
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